Pattern crazy

Apologies for the lack of blog posts.  I’ve been busy with the pattern course I talked about last month.  Module 1 has finished but I’m still enthused by it and busy creating patterns and coming to grips with Photoshop.  And observing patterns everywhere.  Such as this row of colourful wellies outside a shop in one of the arcades in Cardiff…

wellies

I dug out all the various sketchbooks I had accumulated over the last few years and was a bit horrified that they filled three plastic crates! Of course, they are not all full…. some of these are pretty empty…. There are quite a few handmade books and some little ones that I made from watercolour paper and bound with my little blue Bind it all machine.

sketchbook pile

One of the things we’ve been learning to do on the course are moodboards – this isn’t strictly a moodboard but a collage of the images that grab me, made quickly and roughly in Picasa.

collage

I have also been trying to add more colour and pattern to my studio – this had unforeseen consequences last week!  I took down a pile of patterned fabric from the top shelves there and relocated them on to one of the lower shelves – which promptly fell off the wall!  Luckily my precious thermofax machine, which was on that shelf, didn’t end up on the floor in pieces….

Remember if you use Google Reader to read this blog, that it is being shut down on 1st July so you will need to export all your subscriptions and save them on your computer.  I like the look of Feedly as an alternative – if you log in with your Google account it pulls in your subscriptions automatically and it has now introduced its ‘cloud’ service so it will no longer be dependent on Google when it shuts down Google Reader but will pull in the feeds on its own servers.  If you would like to get updates to this blog by email, you can do that by filling in your details on the form in the right sidebar and then you won’t miss a post or have to keep checking back to see if I have updated it!  I use Mailchimp and as far as I can tell it works quite well and I promise not to send you any unrequested mail.

Pattern course and a bit of colour!

For the last few weeks I’ve been doing an online course called The Art and Business of Pattern Design. I decided to embark on this because I noticed that a lot of my artwork consists of lots of overall pattern and texture and I needed something to get me organised now that my boys are all flying the nest and I’ve got more time to set up a business in it!

I’m finding it really inspiring and you’ll probably see quite a lot of it popping up in the next few months but just now we’re doing colour and here are a few photos that I’ve dug out to get colour swatches from…. UPDATE: I added the swatches I got from them at the Color Palette Generator

colour-cornwall-cliff2

A cliff in Cornwall (didn’t do one for this as both the colour generators I tried seemed to ignore that gorgeous red/orange and green and focus on the browns/blacks of the rocks).

colour-london-building

 

colorpalettelondonbuildings

 

A building in Bloomsbury in London

colour-london-graffiti

colorpalettelondongraffiti

Some graffiti near Brick Lane in London

colour-london-rain

colorpalettelondonrain

Rainy pavements in London!

colour-london-rain2

colorpalettelondonrain2

More rain!

colour-london-rain3

colorpalettelondonrain3

Yes, it rained a lot that time…

colour-newport-housesetc

colorpalettenewportstreet

Colourful containers in Newport

colour-paris-metro

colorpaletteparismetro

The Paris metro

Painting on tissue

Here is a collage of some of the tissue paper I have been painting.   (I did this in Picasa, not in cutting and pasting real paper!    Not yet, anyway.)

collage of painted tissue

This is a photo of some corrogated card which I painted.  It looks like a Picasa collage on its own!

painted corrugated card

And, a bit late, here is the best rusted piece from the baking tray which was up in the loft catching the drips.  It is ironic, really, because it is a practice piece on which I was trying to transfer a picture printed on Lasertran (not very successfully).. but I think it looks like one of those old medieval maps.  Pity I could never repeat it if I tried! 

rusted fabric which looks like a map

Tutorial on making a stencil for screenprinting

I found a great tutorial on screenprinting with paper stencils – I did this at college a few years ago when I screenprinted my Dennis the Menace window blind for City & Guilds, for my son Barnabas. Here it is:

Window blind showing mischievous boy and fierce dogs all round

I used newspaper to make the stencils for this because the image was so huge but I notice she uses freezer paper, which would be more durable. She has also posted a tutorial on using a Thermofax machine for those of you lucky US readers who can get them fairly readily! I have found a couple of people who sell either custom-made or ready-prepared Thermofax screens for people who don’t have access to one…

Claire Higgott – Thermofax Screens
Marcy Tilton

Let me know if you know of anyone else who offers this service. Thanks!